Alfa Romeo has quashed rumours about the introduction of the Stelvio GTA, a more hardcore, track-focused version of the SUV. It’s no doubt that Alfa plans to create a halo effect with the GTA nameplate, but product marketing boss Fabio Migliavacca said the GTA ethos just doesn’t gel with other cars in its line-up, Autocar reports.

“The GTA is an important name for Alfa Romeo. Frankly speaking, we had a meeting on a Stelvio GTA but it’s just not in line with customer expectations. It has to be the best possible [on track]. On the Stelvio, we have a higher centre of gravity so it won’t achieve the same goals,” he said.

Currently, the range-topping SUV model is the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, which draws power from a 2.9 litre biturbo V6 that makes 510 PS and 600 Nm of torque. Together with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and Q4 all-wheel drive, the SUV sprints from 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds and has a top speed of 283 km/h.

Had the company decide to go with the Stelvio GTA, then the 2.9 litre V6 engine would likely be uprated to match the Giulia GTA‘s output of 540 PS. Other measures would include a major aerodynamic enhancement pack, bespoke interior materials, beefier brakes and a stiffened chassis. There’s also the Giulia GTAm, which takes things up a notch.

Speaking of the Giulia GTA, Migliavacca said: “The idea for our [110th] anniversary was to renew GTA as an important pinnacle for Alfa Romeo. The [original Giulia GTA] car from 1965 was really important. If you think about the brand’s icons in history, there is GTA. We decided to bring back the old values. The car had to be special compared to the Quadrifoglio. It had to be lighter. We worked a lot to reduce weight and have better performance in terms of lap time over the Quadrifoglio.”

So far, he said the public’s reaction to the Giulia GTA has been “amazing” despite the country being hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. “In this particular moment, people – not only customers – are willing to see something positive in a really difficult reality. A lot of people are raising their hands and saying, ‘I want to have one’, ‘I want to have four’. It’s truly an amazing reaction considering the timing.”

Just 500 units of the GTA and GTAm will be produced, and while the order books have yet to open, the company had already received over 500 expressions of interest. As of now, more customers are opting for the more hardcore two-seat Giulia GTAm.